cover image Crazy Enough: A Memoir

Crazy Enough: A Memoir

Storm Large. Free Press, $25 (288p) ISBN 978-0-4391-9240-5

With a name like Storm Large, a larger-than-life destiny seemed natural for the rock singer and winning contestant on the TV reality show Rock Star: Supernova. Yet growing up in the ’70s in Southborough, Mass., where her father was a teacher and coach at Mt. Mark’s prep school, Large was plagued by her mother’s mental illness, as she recounts in this frank, funny, and caustically un-self-pitying memoir. Her mother’s manic depression and undiagnosed personality disorder required frequent hospitalizations, wreaking havoc on the whole family, and for love, Large found sex (“hypersexuality”) a suitable replacement, at a very young age, as well as drug abuse. An inconsistent student who excelled at such sports as crew in order to please her sports-fan dad, Large nonetheless failed at everything except singing, eventually graduating from New York’s American Academy of Dramatic Arts, convinced she couldn’t act. Gravitating toward San Francisco, heroin, and rock groups, she found some success with the band Dirty Mouth in the 1990s, then in Portland with the Balls. Yet the gritty druggie anecdotes and one-night stands aside, her memoir boils down to the tension inherent in her relationship with her mother, who used her sickness as emotional manipulation. In her gutsy, shrill way, Large exhibits an engaging insouciance in delving into very real, scary, emotionally weighty issues. (Jan.)